Finding ……in Teaching Pronunciation

Finding * * * * * * * in Teaching
Intelligible Pronunciation
Zhang Hong (张虹)
School of Foreign Languages
Southwest University
Welcome & introduction
Questions you have
What to teach? How to teach?
Segmental phonemes (consonants and vowels)
Suprasegmental features
Techniques and activities
Classroom language
Debriefing: Questions and comments
• Provide you with a chance to “think afresh”
about teaching pronunciation in your context;
• Offer you some ideas from the research and
from other teachers’ experience with
teaching pronunciation;
• Use this workshop to demonstrate some
approaches and techniques in teaching
• Have some fun!
• You will leave with at least one (hopefully more
than one) new strategy for teaching pronunciation;
• You will take away a clearer understanding of your
colleagues’ thinking and their successes in
teaching pronunciation;
• You will exit this workshop with a renewed feeling
of excitement and energy about teaching
• You will go out of this room with a great appetite for
What problems do you have in teaching
Write No. 1 and No. 2 problem in your
teaching pronunciation without speaking to
anybody else.
• Possible answers:
1. Pronunciation teaching is not attached
importance to.
2. I have problems with pronunciation, too.
3. When to teach pronunciation?
Possible problems of pronunciation
1. Using the wrong sound(发音错误)
• copy vs. coffee (Korean)
• sheep vs. ship (Chinese)
beach vs. bitch
2. Leaving sounds out (吞音)
• children’s programme
• window —— widow
3. Adding sounds
• student
• good
4. Putting stress on the wrong syllable in a
record v./n.
perfect adj. / v.
fifteen vs. fifty
5. Putting stress on the wrong word in the
• My sister likes apples.
• My sister likes apples.
• My sister likes apples.
• My sister likes apples.
6. Using the wrong intonation pattern
• Come on. That won’t hurt. (encouragement?)
7. Combined problems
The National English Curriculum
What/how to teach?(I)
Teaching consonants
• Pronouncing the 24 consonants
• Steps of focusing on a sound
1. Say the sound alone (presentation orally and in a
written form).
2. Get students to repeat the sound in chorus.
3. Get individual students to repeat the sound.
4. Explain how to make the sound (visually and
5. Students practice.
6. Say the sound in a word.
7. Say the sound in meaningful context.
8. (Contrast it with other sounds.)
Description of consonants
• What parts of the mouth are used?
• How the sound is made?
• Whether or not a sound is made in the throat
1.With a sound in the throat (voiced)
2.Without any sound in the throat (voiceless)
Practice: fairy; zoo; think
What/how to teach?(II)——Vowels
• 12 monophthongs
8 diphthongs
Descriptions of vowels
• How far front or back the tongue is in the
• How high or low the tongue is in the mouth;
• How rounded or spread the lips are;
• Whether or not the tongue moves during
production of the vowel sound;
• In many accents of English, for vowels which
are produced without moving the tongue,
there may also be a difference in length of
the vowel (short/long vowels).
What/how to teach?(III)——suprasegmental
• Stress within words
1. the same word with different parts of speech e.g.
import n./v.
2. Compound nouns e.g. White House; blueberries
3. Compound verbs e.g. make up; turn on
4. Suffixes
(1) stress-preserving: entertain-----entertainment
(2) stress-attracting: cigar----cigarette
(3) stress-shifting: educate----education
Rhythm, stress and intonation within
Jack and Jill went up the hill
To fetch a pail of water.
Jack fell down and broke his crown
And Jill came tumbling after.
Jack and Jill went up the hill
To fetch a pail of water.
Jack fell down and broke his crown
And Jill came tumbling after.
English tones include rising, falling and falling-rising.
1. Falling Tone
Statement (or wh-question)
End of a list e.g. We need milk, eggs, and sugar.
2. Rising Tone
Yes-no question
Indicating surprise
End of an item (but not the last one) in a list
3. Falling-Rising Tone
Indicating uncertainty, hesitation e.g. I think so.
Indicating encouragement e.g. Come on! This won’t hurt!
Indicating syntactic break in the middle of a sentence
Pause, speed and key
When we use long sentences, we tend to break them into chunks,
and we pause briefly between chunks.
To make our speech more interesting and easier to understand, it is
necessary to vary the speed.
A higher key:
To indicate excitement or other emotional response
e.g. Look! He’s coming, he’s coming!
2. To begin a new topic on a higher key
e.g. Ok. Well, I guess that’s all on that subject. Now another thing we need
to talk about is…
A lower key:
To add a bit of nonessential information
e.g. Now, when Sam took the course —— he’s my cousin—— he hound it
To signal that we are about to end our turn in a conversation
e.g. It took us a long time to get over that. Well, I guess that’s all I know
about it.
(1) Some contractions sound the same but have different
e.g. He’s great. / He’s been great.
He’d gone. / He’d better go./He’d go.
(2) Some contractions are irregular in pronunciation.
e.g. I don’t know.
/ I dunno.
You have to go. / You hafta go.
I want to go. /I wanna go.
(3) Some contractions have a sound change when spoken on the palate.
Did you help…./ Didja help…
Can’t you help…/ Can’tcha help?
(1) Function words such as “and” and “of” drop their
final consonants.
• cup of coffee / cuppa coffee
• ham and eggs/ ham ‘n eggs
(2) Vowel “i” of the words “it” and “is” is sometimes
dropped at the beginning of a sentence.
• Is that your car? / ‘zat your car?
• It’s my car./ ‘ts my car.
(3) The “h” and “v” are dropped in the auxiliary verb
“have” in past models, thus reducing it to schwa.
• He could/should have come./ He coulda/shoulda,
Project English 七年級上冊
In each book:
 4 units (4 titles)
 3 topics under each unit (12 topics in total)
 4 sections in each topic (A, B, C, D)
Look, listen and say
Look and say
Look, listen and learn
Look, say and match
Listen, say and write
Listen, read and say
Listen and follow/say, and then
mark the intonation
Read and match
Read and understand
Listen and number/circle/match
七年级(上)Unit 1 Getting to Know You
Topic 3 Section D 3a Grammar focus
e.g. Is that a/an…?
Yes, it is. / No, it isn’t.
It’s an orange.
七年级(上)Unit 2 Looking Different
Topic 1 Section C 1a Read and understand
I am a boy. I’m thirteen years old. I come from
England. I’m a student. I have a round face,
a big nose, a small mouth and small eyes. I
have a sister. Her name is Amy. She is
twelve. She is a student, too. My sister and I
look different. She has a round face, a small
nose, a small mouth and big eyes. We are in
the same school, but in different grades.
Techniques, activities and games of teaching
pronunciation——using mutisensory modes
I. Visual and autitory reinforcement
Accustoming the ears—— minimal pairs(最小对
Repeated exposure to the problem sounds in
contexts where the meaning is clear from nonauditory clues is most likely to succeed.
e.g. Choose the right picture
Solving a mystery
A witness to a smuggling operation claims to have
seen something suspicious one night by the
coastline. The police ask him what exactly he
thinks he saw and he replies:
I think it was a sheep. or
I think it was a ship.
2. Playing with the tongue
e.g. zzzzzzzz
3. Associating with a set phrase or a sentence
e.g. /ei/ The rain in Spain stays mainly in the
4. chant
Funny valentine
Boys are silly. Girls are smart.
I love you with all my heart.
Boys are noisy. Girls are cute.
You like me, and I like you.
Mama loves coffee; Papa loves tea.
I love my teacher and my teacher loves me.
The birds won’t sing, the stars won’t shine, if you
won’t be my valentine.
II. Tactile reinforcement e.g. vocal cords feel;
mirrors (for vowels);
III. Kinesthetic reinforcement
• Having listeners identify the number of syllables by holding
up the corresponding numbers of fingers as they pronounce
multisyllabic words or phrases.
e.g. introduction
• Exercises that focus on the pronounced rhythmic beat or
stress timing of English. While the teacher reads the
passage aloud, students can clap, snap their fingers, or tap
out the rhythm.
e.g. Birds eat worms.
The birds eat worms.
The birds eat the worms
The birds will eat the worms.
The birds will have eaten the worms.
An example of teaching pronunciation
Snow, snow
Falls slow
On my window
That is yellow.
Classroom English
Beginning the class
Simple instructions
Ending the class
Spontaneous situation
Classroom management
Error correction and feedback
Guess the missing word in the title!
Suggestions for teaching pronunciation
Speak English as frequently as possible!
Listen more & practice more!
Teachers become confident!
Using various resources!
Use body language to facilitate your
pronunciation teaching!
• Cater for students’ different learning styles!
Debriefing: questions and comments
• How might you be able to adapt or use some
of these ideas?
• What would you suggest I do differently the
next time?
• Celce-Murcia, M., Brinton, D. M., & Goodwin,
J. M. (1996). Teaching pronunciation. CUP.
• Poedjosoedarmo, G. (2007). Teaching
pronunciation: Why, what, when and how.
Beijing: People’s Education Press.
• 北京市仁爱教育研究所. 2007. 英语(七年级
上册). 长沙:湖南教育出版社.
• 王蔷. 2006. 英语教学法教程. 北京:高等教育
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